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Why Exercising in the Cold Burns more Calories

Getting out and exercising in winter when the nights draw in can take some motivation, it's a real test to your exercise regime once the weather becomes unfavorable. Colder weather can prevent you getting out of the front door. and going on you normal run or getting to your local group exercise session. However, we must remember that it's a god thing! Colder weather burns more calories.

This is because your core temperature remains the same, rarely moving 1 degree away from the average body temperature of 36.2 degrees. In order to achieve this when the environment is much colder than our core temperature, heat promoting mechanisms are activated, all exchange of heat happens through radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation. Your shell acts like a temperature gauge & a warning system for this heat promoting mechanism allowing them to trigger when shell temperature drops.

 

The cold makes us work


One of the first things we notice when it's cold is that our extremities (hands & feet) become cold, this is due to blood being diverted away from the shell of the body towards internal organs to maintain core temperature. As a result of colder temperatures, metabolic rate is increased to generate more heat and keep us warm.

"your body burns more calories when it's cold to maintain core body temperature"


Exercise in itself is a heat promoting activity generating more heat (this requires calories to be burnt) to raise both core and shell to a normal operating temperature. We don't always feel like exercising when it's cold, but it's the best thing we can do to feel warm and comfortable again, this means less time chatting to your neighbor walking his dog before your run, and active recovery rather than inactive rests. This all adds up to an increase in calorie consumption.


Wrap up warm, you will likely shed layers once you get working and enjoy the benefits of a brisk morning run or an outdoor training session in the cold, i'm sure you will agree it feels good to be moving and exercising when it's cold and you'll feel much better for it.


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